DATELINE: Aged in Wood
I’ll See You in My Dreams is an old song, but is not the one you expect to hear in the story.
Director Brett Haley presents us with a picture of growing old in Los Angeles, if you are rich and healthy. But, don’t be fooled. It’s no bed of roses for those with privilege and pleasant lives in the waiting room for the Grim Reaper. It’s still a dead end.
Blythe Danner plays an old lady named Carol, but she is way too beautiful, even in her 70s. She also seems to be playing Diane Keaton in terms of wardrobe. After the death of her husband, she took to a retirement community, high-end living to say the least, and for twenty years filled her life with bridge club, a dog, her daughter, and a pool boy, not necessarily in that order.
Still, much is missing in life. There is a motif of a rat running around her beautiful home that drives her outside periodically.
The 35-year-old pool boy may be half her age and in one of those millennial crisis, but he sees her powerful, past talent as a chanteuse. Indeed, Danner gives a wonderful rendition of “Cry Me a River” to prove the point.
Dropping by the film are old faces, once familiar TV staples, like Max Gail, Mary Kay Place, and Rhea Pearlman, which seems to increase audience depression.
The low-budget film will not win over the young set, but who needs to? This is a bittersweet story of whether geriatric romance is worth the tumble. It is done all too tastefully, as these are not desperate, grubby people
When distinguished and wry Sam Elliott shows up with plenty of money, we realize that old age is meant to be lived with wealth and health. Heaven forefend you lose those.
There is something of resignation in the message that Haley seems to present in this highly polished movie that was filmed in three weeks. When you have old professionals, you can fly through a script.
Well-done on all levels and sobering tale of love and loss.